The Olympic Coast Marine Sanctuary Expedition 2001


The second rapid assessment expedition to sample on the Washington State outer coast, was the Olympic Coast Marine National Sanctuary Expedition of 2001, which took place August 17-24, 2001. Following the rapid assessments in Puget Sound in 1998 and 2000, and the rapid assesssment in Willapa Bay in 2000, staff at the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary decided to host a similar sampling expedition along the northern outer coast of Washington State. This trip, organized by Mary Sue Brancato, followed a format similar to the Puget Sound Expeditions, using a team of 10-14 marine taxonomists and generalists to sample 16 sites within the Santuary, spending about one hour at each site. The team was particularly interested in collecting and identifying nonindigenous species, within the context of as complete a survey as possible (within the time frame) of the entire intertidal fauna and flora at each site. Voucher collections were made during the expedition to be deposited at several Olympic coast facilities.

Field and lab work at Olympic Coast sites (clockwise from upper left):
Chilean Memorial rocky protected site, Sooes Beach,
Chilean Memorial rocky exposed site, temporary lab set-up in Neah Bay
Photographs by Claudia Mills


Sites sampled:

Because of distance and road accessibility limitations, the selected sites were grouped in three major areas. Within those areas, we sampled as widely as possible in terms of available habitats, including rocky bench areas, boulder/cobble fields, sandy beaches, river mouths, and the only two marinas in the region. We had a couple of remarkably lovely field days early on; the second half of the trip was equally remarkable for the amount of rain and wind, making sampling very difficult and tides much higher than predicted on the last three sampling days.

Neah Bay / Makah Bay sites (August 18, 19, 2001):
1. Waatch Point - rocky intertidal shelf on the north shore of Makah Bay.
2. Waatch River - river empties into fine sand beach just south of Waatch Point in Makah Bay.
3. School Creek, Neah Bay - boulder and cobble field meets sandy beach at creek west of marina.
4. Neah Bay Marina - floating concrete docks protected by breakwater jetty in town of Neah Bay.
5. Bahobohosh Point - rocky intertidal shelf with some boulders and cobble in central Makah Bay.
6. Sooes Beach - fine sand beach just south of Bahobohosh Point in Makah Bay.
7. Sooes River - river empties into fine sand beach just north of Bahobohosh Point in Makah Bay.

LaPush sites (August 20, 21, 23, 2001):
8. Chilean Memorial Exposed site - rocky intertidal shelf with boulder field about 1.6 miles hike along the beach north of Rialto Beach.
9. Chilean Memorial protected site - rocky intertidal shelf protected from the northwest, about 1 mile north of Rialto Beach.
10. Rialto Beach - sandy beach with rounded cobbles forming partial veneer and within sediments, about 1 mile north of LaPush, just north of Ellen's Creek.
11. Quileute Marina - wooden docks supported on black plastic floats protected by breakwater jetty, at mouth of the Quillayute River in town of LaPush.
12. Second Beach rocky habitat - rocky intertidal shelf with boulders below a coarse-sand beach, about 2 miles south of LaPush reached by a 3/4 mile hike through the forest.
13. Second Beach sandy habitat - wide beach with some sand-surrounded rocks in the low intertidal, about 2 miles south of LaPush, just south of the Second Beach rocky habitat site.
15. Third Beach rocks - sloping sand beach dropping into rocks and rock fingers in the low intertidal, about 3 miles south of LaPush.
16. Third Beach sand - fine sand beach with occasional emergent boulders and bedrock in the low intertidal, about 3 miles south of LaPush, adjacent to the Third Beach rock site.

Kalaloch sites (August 22, 2001):
14. between Hoh River and Hoh Head cobble habitat - river outwash boulders/cobble/gravel between and among sea stacks, about 0.5 miles north of the Hoh River, reached via a 1.5 hour walk from Oil City.


Helen Berry - Washington DNR Nearshore Habitat Group
Barbara Blackie - Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Betty Bookheim - Washington DNR Nearshore Habitat Group
Katie B - Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Ed Bowlby - Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Mary Sue Brancato - Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
John Chapman - Hadfield Lab, Oregon State University
Allan Fukuyama - Fisheries, University of Washington
Jeff Goddard - University of California at Santa Barbara
Leslie Harris - Los Angeles County Museum
David Kerner - Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Kathy Ann Miller - Catalina Marine Lab, University of Southern Caifornia
Claudia Mills - Friday Harbor Labs, University of Washington
Paul Valentich Scott - Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
Dave Secord - University of Washington, Tacoma
Amy Sewell - Washington DNR Nearshore Habitat Group
Marjorie Wonham - Zoology Department, University of Washington
Jason Whitaker - undergraduate at Huxley College, Western Washington University



We are extremely grateful for the cooperation of the Indian Tribes on the Washington outer coast who allowed us to sample on their lands. Specifically the Makah Nation and the Quileute Nation provided access and and other facilities that helped make the expedition a success. Many of the sites were in the Olympic National Park and we are also grateful for the cooperation of the park staff. Many of the scientists largely volunteered their time to this project, which was essential to its success. Staff at the Olympic Coast Marine National Sanctuary organized the expedition, getting funding from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association; five OCMNS staff members participated in the morning field sampling and followup afternoon lab work. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources, which sponsored the earlier Puget Sound / Willapa Bay Expeditions of 1998 and 2000, enabled three members of their Nearshore Habitat Group to participate. Mary Sue Brancato of NOAA/OCMNS will be completing the official report.


This site is maintained by C. E. Mills; photographs should not be used without permission.
** This page was established August 2001; last updated 9 November 2010 **

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